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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
Negative Dialectics (Negative Dialectics Ppr)
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on January 17, 2018
Excellent as most of Adorno
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on November 21, 2014
The author states that this book is a confession, but is one which is necessary to understand deep knowledge of his work, definitely if the reader  not have this knowledge will not understand the purpose of this book.
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on December 19, 2016
Thank you. Best of luck in the New year!
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on June 17, 2013
Adorno's possible magnum opus is a vast, magisterial work of critical theory--it is the enduring testament to his intellectual depth. If a brief summary of the book's central claim were possible, it would undoubtedly repeat the text's lasting idea, namely, that objects cannot be subsumed under philosophical concepts without remainder. At its core, Negative Dialectics is an attempt to think through the logic of a dialectic that does not absolutize the identity of universality of thought with the particularity of its material. It is a book that argues for the fundamental negativity of thought, of a negativity that is never reconciled in a "world spirit." Adorno's text is a massive critique of existentialism, of Heidegger's attempt to ontologize specifically historical, mediated forms of modern alienation. It is a critique of German Idealism, of Hegel's Absolute Spirit as well as Kantian, formalist ethics. It is a text that tries to think through the concrete historicality of philosophical conceptualization and of the non-reducible, normative character of our metaphysical conceptual scheme. An astonishingly deep and difficult text that is diminished, perhaps just a slightly by Adorno's frenetic ad-homonym criticisms as well as a questionable English translation.
3 people found this helpful
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on May 31, 2014
Despite what others describe as a flawed translation, this text represents a brilliant, nuanced and complex presentation of negative dialectics. The differen e between American and European cultural, political and psychological theoretical critique is evident in this book.
One person found this helpful
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on March 26, 2009
Just a note re. several reviewers' very sensible suggestion to wait for a better trans. before reading Negative Dialectics. Seems to me that ND is just too important to TWA's oeuvre; Ashton's trans. is bad, but is it bad enough to delay one from reading ND? Those of us who thought we'd never really need German owe R. Hullot-Kentor _a lot_ for all the insight, skill, and just plain drudgery he put into his Eng. trans. of _Aesthetic Theory_. Others may be better informed and know something about a forthcoming, new _ND_ trans., as in a complete reworking like what RH-K did for AT. (All I've noticed is a reissue of the same Ashton trans.: the biggest improvement is the new cover--no more sickly green monochrome.) An alternative strategy for ND--along lines others have suggested, too: read LOTS of Adorno in good translations--choosing texts based your own interests as well as some consideration to the must-reads (for music, I'd emphatically recommend the vol. of essays edited by Richard Leppert; alternating "Adorno heavy" and "Adorno lite" [yes, these are relative terms] can make the experience less head-clutching). Also, Fred Jameson, who shares the common opinion of Ashton's _ND_--and, moreover, _actually reads German_--helpfully provides a short list of some of Ashton's "most urgent howlers" (Jameson, _Late Marxism: Adorno . . ._ [Verso, 1990], ix-x--for that matter, if you're interested in Jameson's reading of TWA, his Adorno book presupposes, I think it's fair to say, a pretty fair familiarity w/ _ND_). So I wouldn't suggest waiting on that once & future _really good_ ND trans. Or hedge your bets: break out those old German textbooks, and maybe you'll be reading ND in the original while we of the slothful majority are still keeping the translation vigil.

Addendum: I suspect TWA wouldn't care much for having his work rated by no. of gold stars: translations matter, too, and have to figure into overall evaluations, seems to me. So the constellations Adorno did like combine with the trans. issue and ... 4 stars. We don't get to say anything w/o giving a star rating, no? ???
11 people found this helpful
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on April 1, 2000
Michel Foucault once stated that it was a great tragedy that the Frankfurt School and the French post-structuralists were unaware of each other's work. He felt that the two schools of thought could have gained much from dialogue, and this text illustrates his point in its relatedness to postmodern discourses on the limits of knowledge and the ends of positivistic philosophy.
Adorno addresses the relationship between the concept and the nonconceptualities, which is nothing more that the relationship between discourse and the Other in post-structuralist phraseology. The text is extraordinarily difficult - not always a problem explainable via the difficulties of the ideas involved - and I often find myself spending an hour reading and re-reading a page or two before being able to come to terms with the content. Personally, I enjoy such difficult reading, however, and find it an avenue for developing critical reasoning skills at the sime time as I re-investigate the problems addressed in the difficult prose.
I highly recommend this text for anyone interested in pessemistic, carefully thought-out discourses on the limits placed on understanding by the "pigeon-holeing" of conceptualization, anyone who enjoys cracking hard nuts via time, sweat, and frustration, and anyone looking for a difficult text to read superficially and criticize emptily as being an example of the poverty of post WWII continental philosophy. In a sense, it is a book for all . . .
48 people found this helpful
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on February 7, 2007
Philosopher, Sociologist, Musicologist...and the list goes on with the accomplishments of this amazingly creative person. Adorno studied philosophy first (forming a long friendship with Walter Benjamin). He also studied composition with Berg in Vienna. One of this centuries most critical theorists, Adorno brings us thought provoking, difficult conceptualizations of the instrumentalisation of rationality and means for the utilization of art to oppose our modern, repressive society. Negative Dialects -his anti system- is one of his most important works. As stated by earlier reviewers, this oeuvre is best read when you've laid the necessary previous theoretical foundations. Then it's a joy...
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on June 16, 2002
Famously bad translation of the central piece of Adorno's philosophy. I recommend getting Aesthetic Theory now and waiting for the next translator's attempt.
39 people found this helpful
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on December 21, 2016
Before I refute the implications of Adorno's thesis, I must encapsulate the vigor of his substantive thesis within the boundaries of "ontological thesis-in-Other," which might in itself repudiate any adjucant theories of, say, the earlier School of Foucault and leave aside for the moment, the Dionysian outburst that Foucault's thought, perhaps inevitably, led toward. However, such an avoidance of dialectic is in itself a dialectic; it is an almost Hegelian synthesis, which can thus bring about a dynamic that allows me to put my thumb up my ass while simultaneously attempting to digest such solipcistic immature claptrap masqureading as deep philisophical thought. Since most readers do not care to do this either I assume most will want to skip this book.
2 people found this helpful
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